A California teacher who was allegedly fired for not complying with a policy that would hide children's gender transitions from their parents is speaking out and moving forward with plans to sue the Jurupa Valley Unified School District for discriminating against her Christian beliefs.
Jessica Tapia said she was unaware state law AB 1266, existed but when she found out, she refused to comply. AB 1266 was implemented in 2014 and seeks to protect students' gender identity, according to the California Department of Education
Schools may not tell parents about their children's gender identity without first consulting with the student because the move "may violate California’s anti-discrimination law by increasing the student’s vulnerability to harassment and may violate the student’s right to privacy."
Tapia said when she found out from the school district that she was under these directives, she chose to "speak up about them." "I chose to speak up about them and stand my ground and stand in my faith and beliefs. And that's when they said that's going to be an issue. You have to comply with these directives or your job is on the line," Tapia explained Thursday on "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
"So I chose God. I chose to stick with my Christian faith. And because of that, they released me from employment because, in their words, ‘they could not accommodate my religious beliefs.’"
Host Tucker Carlson expressed shock at the policy and questioned why parents wouldn't want to know their kids are transitioning.
CALIFORNIA MOM SUES SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT ALLEGEDLY COUNSELED DAUGHTER TO TRANSITION GENDER
"I think parents have the right to know everything about their children. And I will not partake in withholding any information from a parent. I'm a parent myself and I would be very upset about that," Tapia stated. "So this fight is not just for the sake of my job loss. This fight is for the protection of all children. This fight is for the preservation of parental rights."
Tapia's attorney Brad Dickens said her firing was a "clear breach of public trust" and a "clear violation of her title seven rights." "She was fired not because of the job she did. She was fired because of her religious beliefs," he told Carlson.
The school district, however, in a statement to Fox News Digital denied it discriminated against Tapia for her beliefs.
"The District denies the allegations raised by Ms. Tapia. The District takes seriously its obligation to accommodate its employee’s religious beliefs. Simultaneously, the District is obligated to comply with all local, state, and federal laws, including anti-discrimination laws and laws that protect students’ rights to privacy, which are in place to protect the nearly 2,500 employees and 18,000 students we serve. We cannot comment further on personnel matters," the statement read in part.
Tapia added that she has been "overwhelmed" by the support she has received from other teachers who say they are willing to stand with her.
"I'm being totally overwhelmed in the best way possible with hundreds of teachers reaching out to me, telling me that they're ready to die on this hill with me, that they completely align with my views on this, that they are ready to stand up to this beast with me and stand for the protection of children and stand for parental rights," she said.
"The fact of the matter [is] that as Christians, we can also be in the public sector. And at this point, I feel that I was told you need to choose one or the other. Do you want to be a public school teacher or do you want to continue practicing your Christian faith?"
Fox News' Hannah Grossman contributed to this report